Jan 25 – As the Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry on issue of illegal immigrants proceeds, past dirt of the government are being poured out in unprecedented proportion. The inquiry has opened a can of worms in respect of issuance of ICs to illegal immigrants.
The Indian community, based on news paper reports and ground talk is fuming that the federal government led by UMNO had failed them, in fact cheated them. Thousands of Indians are still waiting in vain and pain for years for their ICs. They were walking up and down the stairs of government offices for their rightful issuance of citizenships. But they were denied of their rightful citizenships .
Year after year MIC and the several Indian NGOs have presented memorandums to the federal government on the fate of Indians suffering with unemployment and host of other problems just because they were holding red ICs. Again the federal government turned a deaf ear to these calls.
Lately, the opposition parties too have taken up this issue and have been fighting for long pending applications of Indians for ICs to be approved as soon as possible.
Sabah IC issue explodes
The Special implementation task force Cabinet committee on Indian affairs took some effort in addressing the IC issues and went around the country to collect information and details. This resulted in some of the Indian applicants being issued with citizenships.
Recently, in an interview with Tamil papers Dato N.Sivasubramaniam a key person in the special task force committee pointed out that the attitude of Home ministry officials is also a factor in the delay and refusal to approve citizenship applications of Indians.
The citizenship issue has been dominating the Indian community for years and now comes the revelations that thousands of illegal immigrants were issued with ICs in Sabah.
Today, everywhere you go, you can witness anger and frustration expressed by Indians that how the BN led federal government applied double standards in one of the major issues that was the cause of the social problems faced by the Indian community.
Mahathir’s statement angers Indians even further
The issuance of Sabah IC to illegal immigrants was largely done during Mahathir’s regime.
Mahathir’s justifications for the issuance of ICs to illegal immigrants and his unjustified call to set up a royal commission to investigate the issuance of ICs before independence has further angered the Indian community.
Many leaders, including DAP leader Lim Kit Siang has blasted at Mahathir for concealing and twisting facts. They pointed out that the ICs were issued then due to the social contract forged by the communalities and that it was a condition by the British government prior to independence.
Lim Kit Siang also pointed out that Tunku Abdul Rahman, issued ICs to rightful Malaysians who toiled for this country and not to illegal immigrants just to topple the state government of the day.
Mahathir was seen as a savior for BN in the forthcoming GE-13. Political analysts predicted that Mahathir’s campaign would greatly influence some segments of Malaysians who still regard and respect his contributions in developing the nation.
However, today, in the face of Sabah RCI revelations, Mahathir is seen as a villain and may not get the kind of reception from voters that was expected. He is now seen as the person who spoilt BN’s election victory party, if at all there is going to be one.
All these issues put together have created a bad impression for the BN government which is already suffering with decline in popularity. In particular, the image of UMNO and BN has been greatly tarnished.
The popularity of Najib, through his 1Malaysia policy is now facing set back due to Bawani issue and Sabah IC issue, because Najib is still heading UMNO and BN which have not changed any of its policies in line with the aspirations of the people.
Three issues put together are expected to drive the Indian votes away from BN and UMNO and even MIC during the GE 13. They are Sabah IC issue, Bawani issue and not to forget, the incidents surrounding Ambiga Seenivasan.